oriented web site would be complete without the obligatory
shiny orb tutorial? That's right, not a single one! So that
is why, young Photoshop grasshopper, you will learn this
simple concept that can be applied to pretty much any shape
imaginable. Though we're going to focus specifically on the
generic circle shape.
Here's what you're going to be creating. Intimidating?
Well no, not really. Simple? Definitely.
- Photoshop Version
tutorial was created using Photoshop 7. The same
steps should be nearly identical in any version of
If you can't figure out how to do a certain step on
your version of Photoshop feel free to post your
concern in the
Drawing and Design forums.
Alright then, open up Photoshop and create a New Document
by either pressing Ctrl + N or selecting New..
from the File menu. Set your dimensions to 400 by 400
pixels, keep the color mode to RGB, and select White
under contents and click OK. Now click, hold and drag the
rectangular marquee tool until the drop out appears and
select the elliptical marquee too.
Find the Style drop down box, which should be at the top
of your screen if you left the toolbars alone, and select
Fixed Size and set the Width
and Height to 300 px. Your bar should look
[ Your Style
bar should look like this ]
Now create a new layer from your layers panel. Click
somewhere inside the canvas to make your circle appear. Try
to get the circle somewhat centered, though it isn't all
that important. Select a color you want to use for your orb
and fill the selection with the fill tool. I chose to use
#4380AB for my color. You should now have something along
[ Base color
of our orb ]
Now we come to a series of slightly harder steps, and if
you're new to Photoshop they might be a little tricky at
first, but just stick with it and you'll be fine. What we
want to do first is give the orb a little bit of depth. So
go to your tools panel and select the Burn Tool
want to select a nice large soft brush. Go to the top of the
screen again and select a soft brush of any size. Then push
the ] (closed bracket) key until you get a
desirable size, something around 200px should suffice. Now
where it says Exposure set the value to
somewhere around 60 percent.
Now, starting at the lower left edge click and drag to
the lower right edge, following the curve of the circle. If
that didn't make sense, don't worry, a picture detailing
this step is just below. Now select the Dodge Tool
from the same area as the Burn Tool from before. Select a
similar sized brush with a similar exposure as from the last
step and do what you did to the bottom, but now do it to the
top. Whew, hopefully you got that all, but if not, here's
what you should have done.
and Dodging your orb ]
Alright, now the fun part that makes our sad circle
actually look like an orb! Go to your gradient tool
and do the following. Select the upper left knob and set the
Opacity to 100% and the Location
to 0%. Now select the upper right knob and set the
Opacity to 0% and the Location to
100%. Now click the lower left hand knob and set the
Color to #FFFFFF (pure white) and Location
to 0%, and set the right knob's Color to #FFFFFF
and Location to 100%. Your bar should look
like mine does below.
gradient bar should look like this ]
We're almost done now. Create a new layer on top of your
base circle layer. Hopefully you kept the selection around
the circle the whole time, but if you didn't just hold CTRL
and click on the circle layer to get the selection back.
Drag your gradient from the very top of your circle to about
half way down, while holding shift to insure it's a straight
line, and let go.
Go up to Edit>Transform>Scale and make your selection
look something like the below image. You will have to move
the selection around a bit to get it to be in the right
transformed selection ]
Now all that's left do is click the check mark at the top
of the screen to confirm your transformation, hit CTRL + D
to finally get rid of that selection, drop the opacity of
the layer down to about 65% and you're done! Though there is
obviously more you can do to your orb, such as add a drop
shadow or put some text or a logo inside the sphere I'll let
you practice that on your own.
This tutorial is obviously aimed more toward the
novice Photoshop user. It's main intention is to get your
mind away from the over used filters that new users tend to
use and start creating things with just the basic tools. It
will help you a lot in the end if you know how to do
fundamental techniques such as those mentioned in this
tutorial. Hopefully most readers of this tutorial will use
this as a learning experience rather than as a quick way to
make some shiny graphics to throw on their new website.
Either way though, I hope this was helpful and feel free to
ask questions on the Drawing and Design forums.